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Just popped into All Bar One in my eternal quest for wifi access as I’m working a lot on the move at the moment.

Saw they stocked Worthington White Shield and asked for one.  The barman looked surprised. “It’s very rare we sell anything like that.  Have you had it before?  You know what it’s like, yeah?”
He was warning me about a beer.  I wondered if he was frightened by its complexity of flavour. But no, it seemed to be the fact that it’s bottle-conditioned that was troubling him.  “It’s got um… in the bottle… there’s…” he was struggling.
“I know – it’s bottle conditioned, which means it’s still fermenting and still has yeast in the bottle, so I should be careful with it.”
“Yeah, that’s it,” he smiled, “I keep forgetting the right term… actually no.  The Duvel is similar but not quite the same.  Duvel is still conditioning in the bottle like White Shield is, but White Shield doesn’t have any yeast in the bottle, it’s just fermenting.”
I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad.  He was trying.  And he did manage to serve me the correct branded glass.  But we still have a long way to go.




I had similar in the US. I ordered a bottle of coopers sparkling ale with a meal and two people came over with it to explain about the yeast in the bottle. When I said it was fine, I’d had it before he noticed my British accent and said, ‘Oh, OK, are you Australian?’.

Still it was nice they had a good beer on.

Knut Albert

I have a similar story. I ordered a sour beer, similar to Roedenbach, in a bar here in Oslo. The barman asked if I’d had it before. But then it’s quite extreme, so I found that good service.


Just finished reading “Man Walks Into A Pub” after coming across your blog in a quest for interesting beer articles, so thank you for a really enjoyable read!

It is concerning that a place that serves beer would have so much difficulty in training staff to, well, serve beer.

Knowing ABO sell such things is almost enough to tempt me into one though…


I'm lucky in that pubs near me sometimes have Coopers Vintage Ale on tap. I ordered a schooner once and got a lecture from the barman about how much alcohol is in it. What, 7 or 8% at most. Never got that with a bottle of wine (weighing in at 13% plus).


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